Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dave & Adam in Islamabad

People say things like, "Man it was hot! Like, Africa hot." But seriously, these people must have never been to Pakistan because down here in the low elevation city of Islamabad it is HOT! PAKISTAN hot. And this is Spring time, so it's going to be even hotter when we return here in August--typically over 40 degrees Celsius (104° F).

We arrived here without event and have begun shooting some little slice-of-life segments, shopping for shalwar kamiz, riding in taxis that sort of thing. We have a rather large group. Some people have already flown to Skardu, the rest will go by bus tomorrow. After arriving and going to bed after 5:00 this morning I woke at 7:00 being kicked on the bottoms of my feet by Fabrizio who said, ”Be in the lobby in fifteen minutes. We got a flight.” It didn't work that way, of course. Mountain weather has kept flights from leaving for days, so although we were issued tickets, other passengers with pre-booked flights trumped us.

So tomorrow Fabrizio, Chris (the Broad Peak leader), Adam, and I get to spend another sunny day here and hope to leave the following day. By air if we're lucky, otherwise by land rover.

I realized today, as I was contemplating visiting the Abu Faisal mosque (a gigantic modernistic mosque built in the seventies by the Saudi King Faisal) that I didn't even bring a long sleeved shirt with me. At least, not one that can be worn in this heat. So I went out and bought a traditional and rather stylish kurta (the long cotton shirt worn by most Pakistani men). Mine has some great embroidery and will hopefully be impressive enough that tomorrow I will be allowed into the mosque, despite the fact that I am not a Muslim.

And by the way, for those of you who follow the news close enough to have heard, the bombing at the Pearl Continental was at the one in Peshawar. There is one here in Islamabad, right across the street from the hotel we had planned on staying at and, for much of today we thought that was the one that had been bombed. I was packing my camera gear to go to the scene when I was informed that it was the one in Peshawar. In any event, much of this city is locked down by roadblocks and the general consensus is that leaving is a good thing. Skardu is calm and quiet and a bit cooler.

1 comment:

  1. Have fun visiting the mosque. Remember these basic Arabic words (I am a second year student of the language):
    Marhaba Ya-ustez(greetings sir!)
    Ana asif, ana ma takallum Arabii (I'm sorry I don't speak Arabic)
    El Allika (goodbye - literally God be with you)
    Don't forget to take your shoes off in the mosque as a sign of respect!